Peninsular War Tour – 19th – 25th September 2023
An epic six-night, seven-day Battlefield Tour covering Spain and Portugal which will see us exploring some of the most important and iconic sites of the Peninsular War. In the company of expert guides, we will visit and study the Battles of Rolica, Vimeiro, Oporto, Bussaco, Almeida, Fuentes De Onoro, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz to name just a few!
Price: £1650 (£300 single supplement)
This tour will be led by Dan Hill and Marcus Cribb
Dates: 19-25th September 2023
Accommodation – Based on 3* accommodation throughout (on a B & B Basis)
(subject to change)
Day 1: Tour starts at Lisbon. Includes visits to Rolica & Vimeiro.
The opening battles for the British forces in the Peninsula War in 1808, led by Sir Arthur Wellesley. At Roliça his army went on the offensive, attacking French positions up a series of steep gullies. We will visit the battlefield, famous for the dramatic terrain and stop at Colonel Lake’s monument, who led the 29th Regiment in a bold attack up these gullies. The following battle at Vimeiro saw Wellesley’s Anglo-Portuguese army, fight off multiple attacks by General Junot’s force. There is a chance to visit the museum & interpretation centre on site.
Night 1: Accommodation in Lisbon
Day 2: Visits include the Lines of Torres Vedras
Wellington’s formidable defensive lines, designed to defend Lisbon, the impressive fortifications stand as a testimony to military engineering, and with a lot of local help the Lines of Torres Vedras prevented Portugal from falling. Each of the 152 forts and works are unique, many surviving in fantastic condition which will allow us to explore and easily visualise the defender’s positions.
Night 2: Porto
Day 3: Visit to Oporto
The second Battle of Porto in May 1809, also known as the Crossing of the Douro, was one of the riskiest battles of the Peninsula War, possibly of the whole era. It was here that Wellesley (soon to be Wellington) attacked Marshal Soult, who had looted the city and was preparing a withdrawal. An intelligence officer used local sources to gather help in acquiring hidden wine barges to cross the wide river right under the nose of the French, taking the fight into Portugal’s second city. Marcus Cribb will lead us on a detailed walking tour of Porto, exploring the remaining sights as well as enjoying the beautiful city.
Night 3: Porto
Day 4: Visits include Bussaco, The Coa & Almeida
To the sierra of Bussaco, a dramatic hilltop position with incredibly steep sides, we will be atop the ridge that formed Wellington’s defence during the battle. Here you will see what a formidable position it was and gain an appreciation for the French forces who had to attack up it. At the Côa River, the famous Light Division were under extreme pressure, withdrawing across a rock ravine, once they had taken up positions on the west Bank, they stood and fought an impressive rear-guard action. We will visit the ravine, walk across the bridge, imagining the difficulties for both sides and go up to the British Guards memorial which overlooks the battlefield. Almeida is still a beautiful Portuguese town, prepare yourself to discover this gem of a historic site, with narrow cobbled streets that provide shade, lots of small cafes welcome us in and witness the location one of the largest explosions of the age where huge blocks of the ancient castle were thrown hundreds of feet into the air.
Night 4: Ciudad Rodrigo